Portugal reached the
semi-finals with a 6-5 penalty shoot-out win over England.
David Beckham fired England's first one
over, and though Rui Costa missed soon after, keeper Ricardo saved
from Darius Vassell then scored the winner himself. Michael
Owen put England ahead after a Costinha error, but Helder Postiga
made it 1-1 before Sol Campbell had a 90th- minute goal
controversially ruled out. Rui Costa's extra-time scorcher put
the hosts ahead, but Frank Lampard turned sharply and scored to
force penalties. However, the shoot-out went the way of the
hosts, leaving England to go out of a major tournament on penalties
for the fourth time.
Yet the defeat came after
England had made the dream start to their quarter-final in Lisbon.
Not only did England fans commendably respect the Portuguese
national anthem, Owen responded to his critics in the most emphatic
fashion. David James launched a massive clearance upfield
which Costinha attempted to cut out but contrived to head backwards
into the path of Owen. The England striker displayed all his
predatory instincts, allowing the ball to drop before brilliantly
flicking the ball past Ricardo with only three minutes gone.
The goal galvanised Owen, who became
the first England player to score in four consecutive international
tournaments - beating Geoff Hurst's record. The swiftness of
England's opener meant it was unlikely that the game would settle
down and Portugal pressed for the equaliser. Sven-Göran
Eriksson's men made life difficult for themselves by giving away
possession regularly, with Paul Scholes and Lampard guilty of
failing to make the simple pass. Luis Figo wriggled past Gary
Neville in defence and his cross found Cristiano Ronaldo, who saw
his shot blocked by a combination of the superb Ashley Cole and Sol
Beckham then failed to cut out
a pass to Figo, allowing Deco to feed the ball to Maniche who sent a
rasping drive goalwards which James expertly tipped over for a
corner. Campbell almost doubled England's advantage on 20
minutes when he headed a Gary Neville cross just over the bar.
England needed to get a grip on
proceedings, but they were dealt a blow when Wayne Rooney, their
talisman, was forced off midway through the first half after being
struck on the foot. Rooney's mere presence had preoccupied the
Portugal defence to such an extent that they were leaving Owen
England's goalscorer twice went
close to adding to his tally, first lobbing just over Ricardo and
then forcing the goalkeeper into a fine save with a snap shot on the
edge of the area. Vassell replaced Rooney, but it was not
England's attack that was giving cause for concern it was their
defence. Time and again they failed to close down Portugal and
England were lucky to go into the break with their lead in tact.
Shortly after the interval, Eriksson replaced the ineffective
Scholes with Phil Neville to nullify playmaker Deco.
But Portugal continued to pose a
threat and Luiz Felipe Scolari brought on the attack-minded Simao in
the place of holding midfielder Costinha. And Simao signalled
his intent, whipping in a shot within minutes of entering the fray.
Figo forced an excellent save from James low to his right and won a
corner only to be substituted with Postiga coming on in his place.
The Portugal captain sloped off down the tunnel, but Scolari's two
substitutions proved inspired as they combined late on to grab the
hosts an equaliser. England's defence failed to clear Simao's
initial cross and his second was met by Postiga's head, the ball
flying past James. It was no less than Portugal deserved for
the constant second-half pressure. But back came England and
they thought they had won the match with a minute left when Campbell
bundled home a Beckham free-kick after Owen had initially struck the
crossbar. However, referee Urs Meier deemed that John Terry
had impeded Ricardo and awarded Portugal a free-kick.
Both teams looked tired going
into extra time, and England's defence was called into some
desperate last-ditch defending to keep Portugal at bay. The
exemplary Cole made a brilliant goalline clearance to deny Portugal,
but there was nothing England's defence could do about Portugal's
second. Costa fired an inexorable strike that crashed in off
the crossbar to leave James with no chance.
But England simply refused to yield
to the hosts and Lampard equalised from close range after Terry had
headed down Beckham's corner. The game went to penalties,
which once more proved England's downfall, with Beckham firing over
the crossbar after he seemed to lose his footing on the sandy
surface. The England captain looked at the penalty spot in
disbelief, while Vassell struck his spot-kick low to the keeper's
left, but Ricardo made a fine save.
Goalkeeper Ricardo then stepped
forward himself to score the winning spot-kick and send the
Portuguese fans wild. England, meanwhile, were left to reflect
on another evening of hurt as their quest for international honours